May 3 – July 27, 2012 at the Vincent Price Art Museum
The three photos I am submitting for re:present LA are part of a larger project I recently started working on. The premise of the project is to document the cultural activities taking place in Chinatown, Los Angeles, some of which may become obsolete as older generations of Chinese-Americans fade. My intent is to expose the colorful and even mundane cultural lifestyles of the Chinese people that live or visit Chinatown on a regular basis, as reflected in the photos entitled “Late Lunch”, “Herb Shop”, and “Xiangqi” which make up a black-and-white photo series. By showcasing such images, I hope to develop a dialogue between the old and the young about their social responsibility to uphold the values and traditions of the cultures that define who they are.
As a Thai-Chinese American born in Los Angeles, I feel personally connected to this project. Most of my childhood was spent walking around Chinatown with my grandmother, so it is interesting to see how the city has transformed since. As an artist, this project is also a personal exploration of photography as a means of artistic expression. My work has always consisted mostly of paintings and mixed media sculpture. This is the first time I am letting the camera take over. I hope to convey the beauty and richness of Chinatown that I cannot necessarily do with painting or sculpture.